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Steven Beach

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Regents Professor of Psychology; Director, Center for Family Research
Clinical Program

Dr. Beach will not be accepting applications for the admission of a graduate student for Fall 2025.


Ph.D. SUNY-Stony Brook, 1985

Research Interests

Epigenetics, Community Intervention, Marital and Family processes, marital discord, depression and anxiety in close relationships.

Some Selected Recent Publications   (Click for full vita below)

Weber, D. M., Lavner, J. A., & Beach, S. R. H. (2024). Different Trajectories of Relationship Satisfaction Among Rural Black Couples Following Preventive Relationship Intervention. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

Adesogan, O., Lavner, J. A., Carter, S. E., & Beach, S. R. H. (2024). Additive Benefits of Individual, Relational, and Community Factors on Physical and Mental Health Trajectories among Black Americans.  Clinical Psychological Science.

Simons, R. L., Ong, M. L., Lei, M-K., Beach, S. R. H., Zhang, Y., Philibert, R. A., Mielke, M. M.  (2024). Racial discrimination during middle age predicts higher serum phosphorylated tau and neurofilament light chain levels a decade Later: A study of aging Black Americans. Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association.

Weber, D. M., Lavner, J. A., & Beach, S. R. H. (2023). Couples’ communication quality differs by topic.  Journal of Family Psychology.  2023 May 18. doi: 10.1037/fam0001111. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37199946.

Adesogan, O., Lavner, J. A., Carter, S. E., Beach, S. R. H.  (May, 2023 online). Stress Accumulation and Depressive Symptoms Among Black Women in the Rural South. Clinical Psychological Science. NIHMSID: NIHMS1889301

Adesogan, O., Lavner, J. A., Carter, S. E., & Beach, S. R. H. (June, 2023 online). Shift-and-persist coping and health among rural African American Adolescents .  Journal of Research on Adolescence.

Beach, S. R. H., Lei, M-K., Lavner, J. A., Adesogan, O., Carter, S. E., Barton, A. W. (2023). Strengthening couple functioning promotes resilience to COVID-19-related stressors among Black Americans. Journal of Family Psychology, 37(4), 497-506. doi: 10.1037/fam0001082. Epub 2023 Apr 13. PMID: 37053419; PMCID: PMC10238637.  NIHMSID: 1878406

Lavner, J. A., Hohman, E. E., Beach, S. R. H., Stansfield, B. K., & Savage, J. S. (2023). Effects of a responsive parenting intervention among Black families on infants’ sleep: A secondary analysis of the Sleep SAAF randomized clinical trial. JAMA Network Open, 6(3), e236276. doi:10.1001/Jamanetworkopen.2023.6276

Simons, R. L., Ong, M. L., Lei, M-K., Beach, S. R. H., Zhang, Y., Philibert, R. A., Mielke, M. M. (2023). Changes in loneliness, BDNF, and biological aging predict trajectories
in a blood-based epigenetic measure of cortical aging: A Study of Older Black
Americans.  Genes14, 842.

Simons, R. L., Ong, M. L., Beach, S. R. H., Lei, M-K., Philibert, R. A., Mielke, M. M. (available on line, 22 February, 2023). Direct and Indirect Effects of Socioeconomic Status and Discrimination on Subjective Cognitive Decline: A Longitudinal Study of African American Women.   The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 2023; [SRHB1] gbad029,

Armah, A. E., Lavner, J. A., Varner, F. A., and Beach, S. R. H. (published on line, February 6, 2023).  Racial Discrimination, Depressive Symptoms, and Parenting in African American Families.  Family Relations.

Lavner, J. A., Ong, M. L., Carter, S. E., Hart, A. R., & Beach, S. R. H. (2023). Racial Discrimination PredictsDepressive Symptoms Throughout Adolescence Among Black Youth. Developmental Psychology. Advance online publication. 

Heyman, R. E., Lorber, M. F., Kim, S., Wojda-Burlij, A. K., Stanley, S. M., Ivic, A., Snyder, D. K., Rhoades, G. K., Whisman, M. A., & Beach, S. R. H. (2023). Overlap of Relationship Distress and Intimate Partner Violence in Community Samples. Journal of Family Psychology, 37(1), 37-44

WhismanM. A., Beach, S. R. H., & Davila, J. (2023). Couple Therapy for Depression and Co-Occurring Internalizing Disorders.  Chapter 22 In Lebow, J., & Snyder, D. K. Clinical handbook of couple therapy, (6th ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press. ISBN 9781462550128

*Barr, A. B., Simons, R. L., Beach, S. R. H., Simons, L. G. (2023).  Racial Discrimination and the weathering of nonmarital relationships.  Journal of Marriage and the Family, 85, 723-738. DOI: 10.1111/jomf.12900. NIHMSID: NIHMS185446

Barton, A. W., Jenkins, A. I. C., Gong, Q., Sutton, N. C., & Beach, S.R.H. (2023). The protective effects of perceived gratitude and expressed gratitude for relationship quality among African American couples. Journal of Social & Personal Relationships, 40(5), 1622-1644. doi: 10.1177/02654075221131288

*Lei, M-K. & Beach, S. R. H. (2023). Neighborhood disadvantage is associated with biological aging: intervention-induced enhancement of couple functioning confers resilience. Family Process. 62 (2), 818-834.

*Lavner, J. A., Carter, S. E., Hart, A. R., Adesogan, O., & Beach, S. R. H. (online June, 2023). Racial discrimination and private regard among Black youth: Testing between- and within-person associations over time. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 43(2), 141–163.


*Lavner, J. A., Ong, M. L., Carter, S. E., Hart, A. R., & Beach, S. R. H. (2022). Racial Discrimination Predicts Depressive Symptoms Throughout Adolescence Among Black Youth BRIEF REPORT. DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, 9 pages. doi:10.1037/dev0001456

*Beach, S. R. H., Klopack, E. T., Carter, S. E., Philibert, R. A., Simons, R. L., Gibbons, F. X., Ong, M. L., et al. (2022). Do Loneliness and Per Capita Income Combine to Increase the Pace of Biological Aging for Black Adults across Late Middle Age? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health19(20), 13421.

Adesogan, O., Lavner, J. A., Carter, S. E., & Beach, S. R. H. (2022). COVID-19 stress and the health of Black Americans in the rural South. Clinical Psychological Science, 10, 1111–1128.

Beach, S. R. H., Ong, M. L., Gibbons, F. X., Gerrard, M., Lei, M-K., Dawes, K., Philibert, R. A. (2022). Epigenetic and Proteomic Biomarkers of Elevated Alcohol Use Predict Epigenetic Aging and Cell-Type variation Better than Self-Report.  Genes, 13(10), 1888. doi: 10.3390/genes13101888 

*Lei, M-K., Berg, M. T., Simons, R. L., & Beach, S. R. H. (2022). Specifying the psychosocial pathways whereby juvenile adversity leads to adult health outcomes. Psychological Medicine, 1–10.

*Hernandez, E., Lavner, J.A., Moore, A.M., Stansfield, B.K., Beach, S.R.H, Smith, J.J., & Savage, J.S., (2022). Sleep SAAF responsive parenting intervention improves mothers’ feeding practices: A randomized controlled trial among African American mother-infant dyads. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 19, 129. 

*Ong, M. L., Carter, S. E., Lei, M-K., Klopack, E. T., Simons, R. L., Beach, S. R. H. (2022).  School Disengagement Predicts Accelerated Aging Among Black American Youth: Mediation by Psychological Maladjustment and Moderation by Supportive Parenting.  International Journal of Environment Research and Public Health, 19(19), 12034.

*Zhang, Y., Lei, M.-K., Simons, R. L., Beach, S. R. H., & Carter, S. E. (2022). Childhood adversity and adult health: A dyadic analysis of Black American couples. Health Psychology. 41(12), 923–927.

*Lei, M-K., Gibbons, F. X., Gerrard, M., Beach, S.R. H., Philibert, R. A. (2022). Digital Methylation Assessments of Alcohol and Cigarette Consumption Account for Common Variance in Accelerated Epigenetic Aging.  Epigenetics, 17(13), 1991-2005.  DOI: 10.1080/15592294.2022.2100684   NIHMS1891638. PMC9665121

Simons, R. L., Ong, M-L., Lei, M-K., Klopack, E. T., Berg, M., Zhang, Y., Philibert, R. A., Gibbons, F. X., Beach, S. R. H.  (2022). Shifts in Lifestyle and Socioeconomic Circumstances Predict Change—for Better or Worse—in Speed of Epigenetic Aging: A Study of Middle-Aged Black Women.  Social Science & Medicine, 307, 115175.  doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2022.115175

Simons, R. L., Ong, M-L., Lei, M-K., Klopack, E., Berg, M., Zhang, Y., Philibert, R. A., Gibbons, F. X.,  Beach, S. R. H.  (2022). Unstable Childhood, Adult Adversity, and Smoking Accelerate Biological Aging Among Middle-Age African Americans:  Similar findings for GRIMAGE and POAM.  Journal of Aging and Health, 34(4-5), 487-498.  doi: 10.1177/08982643211043668. 

Lei, M-K., Brody, G. H., Beach, S. R. H. (2022).  Intervention effects on self-control decreases speed of biological aging mediated by decreases in substance use: A longitudinal study of African American youth.  Family Process, 61(2), 659-673.

Lei, M-K.,  Lavner, J. A., Carter, S. E., Adesogan, O., Beach, S. R. H. (2022). Relationship Intervention Indirectly Buffers Financial Strain’s Effect on Biological Aging Among Black Adults.  Journal of Family Psychology.36(4), 502–512.  PMCID: PMC9021333 NIHMSID: NIHMS1764189. PMID: 34672636

Lavner, J. A., Savage, J. S., Stansfield, B. K., Beach, S. R. H., Marini,  M. E., Smith, J. J., Sperr, M. C., Anderson,  T. N., Hernandez, E., Moore, A. M, Caldwell, A. L., & Birch, L. L. (2022). Effects of the Sleep SAAF Responsive Parenting Intervention on Rapid Infant Weight Gain: A Randomized Clinical Trial of African American Families.  Appetite, 175, 106080. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2022.106080. PMID: 35577176

Barr, A. B., Simons, R. L., Beach, S. R. H., Simons, L. G. (2022). Racial Discrimination and Health among Two Generations of African American Couples.  Social Science & Medicine, 296, 114768.  DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2022.114768

*Beach, S. R. H., Gibbons, F. X., Carter, S. E., Ong, M-L, Lavner, J. A., Lei, M-K., Simons, R. L., Gerrard, M., & Philibert, R. A. (2022).  Childhood Adversity Predicts Black Young Adults’ DNA Methylation-Based Accelerated Aging: A Dual Pathway Life History Model.  Development and Psychopathology, 34(2). 689-703.doi:10.1017/S0954579421001541  PMID: 34924087. 

Barton, A. W., Lavner, J. A., Sutton, N. C., McNeil Smith, S., & Beach, S. R. H. (2022). African Americans’ relationship quality and depressive symptoms: A longitudinal investigation of the Marital Discord Model. Journal of Family Psychology, 36(7), 1061–1072.[SRHB3] 

Lei, M-K., Berg, M.  T., Simons, R. L., Beach, S. R. H. (2022). Neighborhood structural [SRHB4] disadvantage and biological aging in a sample of Black middle age and young adults.   Social Science & Medicine, 293, 114654. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114654  

Lavner, J. A., Hart, A. R., Carter, S. E., & Beach, S. R. H. (2022).  Longitudinal Effects of Racial Discrimination on Depressive Symptoms Among Black Youth: Between- and Within-Person Effects. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 61(1), 56-65.  doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2021.04.020 PMID: 34015482.

*Beach, S. R. H., Ong, M-L., Lei, M-K., Carter, S. E., Simons, R. L., Gibbons, F. X., (2022).  Methylation of FKBP5 is Associated with Accelerated DNA methylation Aging and Cardiometabolic Risk:  Replication in young-adult and middle-aged Black AmericansEpigenetics, 17(9), 982-1002.

Barton, A. W., Lavner, J.A., Beach, S.R.H. (2021). Can interventions that strengthen couples’ relationships confer additional benefits for their health? A randomized controlled trial with African American couples. Prevention Science, 22,  386–396. doi:10.1007/s11121-020-01175-7. 

Lavner, J. A., Barton, A. W., & Beach, S. R. H. (2020). Direct and indirect effects of a couple-focused preventive intervention on children’s outcomes: A randomized controlled trial with African American families. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 88, 696–707. doi:10.1037/ccp0000589

Beach, S. R. H., Ong, M. L., Lei, M. K., Klopack, E., Carter, S. E., Simons, R. L., Gibbons, F. X., Lavner, J. A., Philibert, R. A., & Ye, K. (2020).  Childhood adversity is linked to adult health among African Americans via adolescent weight gain and effects are genetically moderated.  Development and Psychopathology, 1-18.  Doi: 10.1017/S0954578420000061  NIHMSID: 1547621

Lei, M. K., Beach, S. R. H. (Online publication, February, 2020). Can We Uncouple Neighborhood Disadvantage and Delinquency?  An Experimental Test of Family Resilience Guided by the Social Disorganization Theory of Delinquency.  Family Process, 59 (4), Special Issue: Black Lives Matter, 1801-1817.  DOI: 10.1111/famp.12527

Holmes, C.,  Owens, M.,  Beach, S. R. H.,  McCormick, M., Hallowell, E., Clark, U., Barton, A., Brody, G., MacKillop, J., & Sweet, L. (2020). Peer influence, frontostriatal connectivity, and delay discounting in African American emerging adults. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 14, 155-163. doi:10.1007/s11682-018-9977-y

Carter, S., Ong, M-L., Simons, R. L., Gibbons, F. X., Man Kit Lei5, Beach, S. R. H. (2019). The effect of early discrimination on accelerated aging among African Americans.  Health Psychology. 38(11), 1010-1013.  doi: 10.1037/hea0000788.

Beach, S. R. H., Lei, M. K., Simons, R. L., Barr, A. B., Simons, L. G., Cutrona, C. E., Philibert, R. A. (2019). Perceived Relationship Support Moderates the Association of Contextual Stress with Inflammation Among African Americans.  Journal of Family Psychology, 33(3), 338-348. doi: 10.1037/fam0000509.  PubMed PMID: 30742465.

Owens, M. M., Syan, S. K., Amlung, M. T., Beach, S. R. H., Sweet, L. H., MacKillop, J.  (2019).  Functional and Structural Neuroimaging Studies of Delayed Reward Discounting in Addiction: A Systematic Review.  Psychological Bulletin, 145(2), 141-164.  doi:10.1037%2Fbul0000181

Lavner, J. A., Barton, A. W., & Beach, S. R. H. (2019). Improving couples’ relationship functioning leads to improved coparenting: A randomized controlled trial with rural African American couples. Behavior Therapy, 50, 1016–1029. doi:10.1016/j.beth.2018.12.006

Dogan, M. V., Beach, S. R. H., Simons, R. L., Lendasse, A., Penaluna,B., Philibert, R. A. (2018). Blood-based Biomarkers for Predicting Risk for Five-Year Incident Coronary Heart Disease in the Framingham Heart Study via Machine Learning. Gene9(12), 641;  PMID: 30567402.

Lei, M. K., Beach, S. R. H., Simons, R. L. (2018). Childhood trauma, pubertal timing and cardiovascular risk in adulthood. Health Psychology. 37(7), 613- 617.  DOI: 10.1037/hea0000609 PMC6002938.

Simons, R. L., Lei, M. K., Beach, S. R. H., Barr, A. B., Simons, L. G., Gibbons, F.X., Philibert, R. A. (2018).  Discrimination, Segregation, and Chronic Inflammation: Testing the Weathering Explanation for the Poor Health of Black Americans. Developmental Psychology, 54, 1993-2006. DOI: 10.1037/dev0000511  PMID: 30234347.

Andersen, A. M., Lei, M-K., Philibert, R. A., Beach, S. R. H. (2018). Methylation of MTHFR Moderates the Effect of Smoking on Genomewide Methylation Among Middle Age African Americans.  Frontiers in Genetics, 9, 622DOI:  10.3389/fgene.2018.00622

Barton, A. W., Beach, S. R. H., Wells, A. C., Ingels, J. B., Corso, P. S., Sperr, M. C., Anderson, T. N., Brody, G. H. (2018). The Protecting Strong African American Families Program: A Randomized Controlled Trial with Rural African American Couples.  Prevention Science.  19 (7), 904-913.  DOI: 10.1007/s11121-018-0895-4  (PMID:29629507) PMC6177321.

Barton, A. W., Beach, S. R. H., Bryant, C. M., Lavner, J. A., & Brody, G. H. (2018). Stress spillover, African Americans’ couple and health outcomes, and the stress-buffering effect of family-centered prevention. Journal of Family Psychology, 32(2), 186-196. doi. 10.1037/fam0000376 PMC5905714.

Beach, S. R. H., Lei, M. K., Simons, R. L., Dogan, M. V., Gibbons, F. X., Philibert, R. A. (2018). MTHFR Regulatory effects on methylation of CG05575921 in response to smoking: Effects are also discernable using MTHFR expression. American Journal of Medical Genetics: Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics. 177 (5), 529-534. DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.b.32624  NIHMSID 948391

Teaching Interests

I am interested in studying community level interventions and their impact of close relationships and health. I require that any student involved in directed research experiences with me be available to meet with me and my team. Many of the interesting discussions take place during this time and I view it as an essential part of the learning process.  Students have the opportunity to see research ideas develop and to discuss those ideas and various methods of psychological research.


Articles Featuring Steven Beach

Dr. Steve Beach was recently named Regents’ Professor, an honor  bestowed by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia for faculty whose scholarship or creative activity is recognized both nationally and internationally as innovative…

Congratulations to four faculty members in the Department of Psychology who have recently received national grant awards! Keep up the great work!

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